Middlesex County News

Rutgers to raise minimum wage to $11 an hour for student workers

944ff29ca501b006becf_best_5aaeb870215af8bb15f5_best_ebc47455e3faada0ed12_ru_winants_hall.jpg
944ff29ca501b006becf_best_5aaeb870215af8bb15f5_best_ebc47455e3faada0ed12_ru_winants_hall.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University will be raising the campus-wide minimum wage to $11 an hour, university president Robert Barchi announced in a campus-wide email on December 11.

The move comes as a partial victory for the local labor rights group, Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops​ (RUSAS)​, wh​ich ha​s​ been campaigning for a $15 minimum wage.

Right now, the minimum wage on campus is the state-mandated rate of $8.44 an hour. The increase goes into effect on January 1, 2018, Barchi said, and applies to all student workers and those on Federal Work Study.

Sign Up for E-News

“Despite our efforts, more than 13,000 of you still must commit many hours each week to working on your campuses to defray the cost of your education,” Barchi said. “”While holding an on-campus job can offer many benefits, we are cognizant of the delicate balance that you must strike between work and your studies.”

Members of RUSAS have spent the last year campaigning for a minimum wage increase. Their most recent efforts are part of the broader contract negotiations underway by several Rutgers faculty unions.

“Today, 13,000 workers received news that they would be receiving a raise to $11 an hour,” wrote RUSAS member Mariah Wood. “$11 an hour that was fought for tirelessly by students who were fed up.”

Yet the increase is a “partial victory,” according to RUSAS, in lieu of a increase to $15 an hour.

“$11 is not a living wage, and don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that this was an act of good will,” Wood added.

Barchi has maintained that he’s handled a precarious balance to offset the cost of tuition as much as possible.

“We run within a 1.2 percent operating margin, for a business that’s about $4.3 billion,” Barchi told students at the October board of governors meeting. “I keep it that way intentionally, I’m not going to raise the operating margin because we’re taking those dollars to keep down tuition.”

Spending outside the operating margin could result in the credit rating being lowered for Rutgers’ debt, meaning higher tuition for students, Barchi said.

“Over the last several years, I am proud that we have been able to keep tuition increases to a minimum while simultaneously strengthening our academic profile,” Barchi wrote in the December 11 email.

Many students had told stories of economic woes faced while trying to attain and education and support their living situation, all while on an $8.44 wage and without the financial support of their family.

They were “fed up not being able to pay rent, skipping meals, not being able to afford medical treatment, spending the hours they should have been studying working,” Wood added.

Daniel Taylor, a senior studying art history, told the board of governors at their October meeting that during college, he’s worked as a research assistant, painter and at dining hall.

Eventually Taylor was pushed off campus after being unable to afford room and board.

“I work because I must, not because I want to,” Taylor said. “With each passing month, my rent was paid later and later as I fell further and further behind. If I worked more hours to make up the different, my grades suffered as I struggled to keep up on assignments.”

Those working at the dining hall have also been ​charged a mandatory $3.50 deduction for meals per shift, activists have stated, which is a significant amount for the average dining hall worker making roughly $12,000 a year.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7a493aa70537d9c4811f_south_brunswick_july_19_mets_flyer_2018

Thu, July 19, 11:00 AM

South Brunswick Public Works & Utilities Building, Monmouth Junction

South Brunswick Emergency Blood Drive - Pair of ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_0a79b254f45583c80861_048

Wed, August 22, 8:30 AM

American Legion Post 253, Spotswood

Bus Trip to AC Air Show

Giving Back Other

Sat, October 27, 12:00 PM

East Jersey Old Town Village, Piscataway

Revolutionary War Encampment

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Nearly $900K Bid Received for Construction of New New Brunswick Park

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Only one company submitted a bid to build a new city park on land where three abandoned houses once stood.

A-Tech Concrete of Edison submitted a bid of $897,316.25 to construct a park on Welton Street, near Drift Street.

This was the only bid that city Purchasing Department received before the deadline this morning.

New Brunswick demolished three abandoned home on the ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

New Brunswick Picks Committee, Law Firm to Move on Abandoned Houses

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Abandoned properties in urban areas cause a range of problems, from fostering criminal activity to creating public health hazard and generally diminishing the quality of life.

That is from the opening statement of an ordinance that the city council passed in 2016 calling for establishment of a list abandoned properties and how New Brunswick can renovate or remove ...

17 Fascinating Facts About Rutgers Athletics

July 10, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For all the critics of the athletics program at New Jersey’s largest public university, there are more than a dozen reasons to cheer for successes of the sports programs and teams on the playing fields, in classrooms and beyond.

Here are 17 on the field and off the field things this took place this past academic year at Rutgers University:

1. Rutgers had four ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Hidden in Plain Sight!

July 17, 2018

Painted Rocks 2018 Summer Reading -  Libraries Rock!

Hidden in Plain Sight!

About 40 gaily painted rocks have been hidden in outdoor public areas around South Brunswick Township as part of our 2018 Libraries Rock! Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge of course is to first find the rock. It will be painted with a random colorful image on one side and instructions on the underside.

Awesome Box Unveiled!

Have you ever closed a book after reading it and said “that was AWESOME!”  Us too! Maybe it was very funny, helpful, mind-blowing, emotionally moving? The “why” is up to you.  Share the good news about the awesome books you have read by simply returning the book to our new Awesome Box! It is labeled as such and stands next to the normal return box in the main ...

Crowdfunding Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Source: Many small start-up businesses and tech ventures in search of capital turn to popular online platforms for crowd fundraising of financial resources to get their concept off the ground and launched into market. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, to name a few, offer solutions in generating cash to fund new ideas. How do you get people to contribute to your cause?  Sam Burlum ...